This strikingly designed, ingenious chair has the legs and back supports made from two cut and bent pieces of plywood whose 'N' shaped forms support the gently curving seat and back. The Summers' family believe this rare chair to be the only known surviving example. It is described in the 'Makers of Simple Furniture' catalogue sheet as, "Suitable for occasional or dining use. Constructed of selected birch and finished in clear polish".
The most innovative designer in Britain in the 1930's Gerald Summers' significance is only now being appreciated as emphasis has heretofore been placed upon the achievements of European and Scandinavian designers and because 'Makers of Simple Furniture' was a small company, producing mainly to order, without the publicity machine of larger workshops.
Originally offered through Heals, Harrods and select department stores in the US, examples of Summers' designs are now held by the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Vitra Design Museum in Germany.
UK Private Collection
Museums & Exhibitions:
Victoria & Albert Museum: Summers work is now included in the new 20th Century Furniture Galleries which opened at the V & A in November, 2012
Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2013/14 exhibition: The Magic of Plywood
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Vitra Design Museum
Thirties British Art and Design before the War organized by the Arts Council of Great Britain, London 1979
'Constructivism in Art & Design' Crafts Council Gallery, London 1988
The Design History Journal 1992 Vol.5 No.3 - precis of Masters' thesis by Martha Deese, Metropolitan Museum New York
Gerald Summers: Furniture For the Concrete Age Dunn and Mantz pub.2012
1000 Chairs Charlotte and Peter Fiell, Cologne 2000 p.232
Design for Today 1934
100 Masterpieces Vitra Design Museum
Furnishing the small Home published London and New York 1930's by the Studio Ltd.
A History of British Design 1839-1970 Fiona McCarthy pub.1972
Bent Wood and Metal Furniture 1850-1946 University of Washington Press edited by Derek E. Ostergard